Bards and Sages RPG Resource
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction
Powered by DriveThruRPG


Home » Thunderegg Productions » Reviews
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
OSR Sci Fi GM Screen
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2015 14:24:11
http://dieheart.net/osr-sci-fi-gm-screen/

The OSR Sci Fi GM Screen is a production in the wake of the White Star hype. While White Star isn’t perfect, it still has lots of fans in the old school community. The GM Screen sheets are a tool to help you run White Star (or compatible) games. As White Star is basically Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox in space, this should be compatible with most old school D&D offshoots. The product is available in an electronic format or as portrait-oriented sheets for use with a GM screen. If you purchase OBS’ GM Screen with these inserts (there’s an option during the checkout process), then you get the inserts free. (Pretty awesome!).

Disclaimer: The author, Jacob Ross, was so kind to send me a physical review edition for free.

What do you get?

The product contains 12 pages total, including cover and OGL.

The player side features a beautiful cover page, a summary of both melee and starship combat rules, an example sector map with an FTL travel system and descriptions of each world. The GM side includes the same sector map, planetary descriptions that also come with GM secrets, a combat summary, a random mission and reward generator and a convenient one-roll enemy generator that scales from mooks to bosses. The quality of the physical screen sheets is superb, they are printed on cardstock paper in color. The background is light blue. The information is easy to read and the sparse artwork really looks superb. The digital download also comes with a print friendly version.

Let’s take a quick peek at the stuff included. Enemy Generator: The author included a method to scale the opposition by choosing a die size which equals the threat level (e.g. 1d6 for a weak enemy, stats are derived from the result). You can roll for attack type (fast, standard, precise and savage attacks) and for abilities. Here’s an example monster:

competent enemy: 1d8 (=5)-> HD 5, To-Hit +5, AC 7 (20/result +3 for competent), ST 7, Morale 7 attack type: 1d4 (=3) -> precise attacks, once per round at 1d6+1/2 damage abilities: 1d20 (=10) -2 for competent enemies -> penetrating: ignore 1/2 HD damage-reducing effects You need to come up with a name and description yourself but other than that it’s a pretty fast method for generating monster stats.

Mission Generator: Another random table with entries for patron (e.g. government), job (e.g. bounty), risk (how many encounters/job), distance (e.g. same city or 2 weeks deep space travel) and reward (e.g. favor owned (proportionate to risk+distance)).

Combat Summary and Space Combat: This is a one-sheet which explains initiative, melee attacks, missile attacks, damage, unseen opponents, movement, morale, and healing. And then the same for space combat, including a table for weapon range. Nice to have although it’s perhaps a bit too much text. I prefer a more redacted version which resembles mathematical formulas as it’s better to absorb the information at a glance.

Missile Attack: Roll 1D20+BHB from Class+Dexterity bonus and any other applicable bonuses. The criteria for hits are the same as melee attacks. Missiles have a Rate of Fire (ROF) that determines how many times per round you can attack with them. Maxla Sector: This is an example sector. It comes with a hex map and FTL travel rates for both the player side and the GM side. Then there’s a sheet with descriptions, one for the players and one for the GM. Information is given in broad-strokes only. There are two additional species, the Shax and the Sha-Iz, who populate the sector. The Shax are a primitive reptilian warrior race while the Sha-Iz are an offshoot of humanity. The product includes stats for the survivalist Shax Implacable and the Sha-Iz Operative who comes across as very rogue-like. Both species sound very interesting and are viable alternatives to the White Star core classes. The GM side of the sector also includes GM secrets. The different worlds include some adventure hooks which should get the GM started.

Summary

This is a really nice product for White Star. I especially like the Enemy Generator and the example sector. The rules summary (combat and space combat) adds a lot of utility. While it’s not necessary for running the game, this product is a really fine accessory and offers good value for your money. I’d rate this as a 4.5 out of 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
OSR Sci Fi GM Screen
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Setting Works: Near-Future Rescue Worker
by Kurt R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2015 19:10:26

Setting Works – Near-Future Rescue Worker – Review

This booklet PDF is 10 pages and 8 of those are content about Rescue Workers with bookmarks. This product is the second of the series called “Settings Works”, a group of PDFs that cover various aspects of Future professions and how to integrate them into your game worlds.

This one covers firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics in some detail, you are introduced to the players with a short story about some of these rescuers that will be continued in the following booklets. The story instantly had me wanting more of it, the writing is excellent.

Next it goes into gear that the rescuers would use on their person and vehicles, then a short synopsis of 3 PC and/or NPC players. Commanders, Drivers and Workers are given a quick treatment, but I would have liked to see a bit more detail here, these could have been expanded upon with a little bit effort, but what is there, will get the Game Master going enough to start a game session or two.

There are some scenarios covered here, but I don't think an entire campaign can be written with just this product. Maybe an alternating sessions between rescue workers and the first FREE offering in this series, “Near-Future Detectives”.

This one is well done and well written I just wanted a bit more out of it, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Setting Works: Near-Future Rescue Worker
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Thrilling Powers
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2015 13:49:25

This book is a great resource to go with Worlds in Peril, it will really help players and GMs to quickly come up with powers for there heroes, but also will help give an idea how to make your own.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thrilling Powers
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Assimilant Menace!
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2015 13:50:41

Out of 17 pages, 13 are the content. The blue paragraph heading font can be a bit of a pain to read. Error: Page 4: 'They care suited for a variety of genres'. Should be 'can be suited'? Not a bad version of a certain cyborg species from a certain sci-fi series.

Artwork looks good. Apart from White Star; I could use it for X-plorers, maybe.

At £1.92, it's pretty good.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Assimilant Menace!
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

The Hero's Journey Workout Plan
by Mamading C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2015 10:59:43

This is brilliant stuff! I'm eight days into the programme and I'm really enjoying it. It has the right blend of challenge, variety, narrative and even some weak game mechanics to motivate one to stick with it.

As a geek, who finds it hard to get started and even harder to stick with exercise programmes, I can say this is a real winner. I'm publically blogging my progress at https://www.facebook.com/mamading



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hero's Journey Workout Plan
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Arc Threads
by davidicus s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2015 17:06:22

great tables and discussion. although covered in the text, some kind of diagrammatic or bulleted breakdown or worksheet of the suggested arc process would have been nice. triple-spaced paragraph breaks were a mild annoyance to an otherwise easy and clear read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arc Threads
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Creator Reply:
Hey, thanks for the kind words. I have been attempting to hire an editor to create worksheets for this supplement (plus Character Webs and Species and Societies). You won\'t believe how hard it is to find someone who understands the industry but isn\'t already swamped in work.
Species & Societies
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/30/2014 12:28:27

This work is all about creating new races of intelligent (more or less) creatures for your game. The cover is virtually obscured by 'Compatible with' logos ranging from fantasy to science fiction systems, but never fear if your chosen ruleset isn't there, it is generic enough to be used whatever game system you prefer although those are the ones explicitly supported.

There are two ways to use the book. Either grab a handful of dice and start rolling, see what you come up with, or use the sections as guidelines to drive your thoughts, ensuring that you consider all the aspects that will be useful in creating a species that you'll be able to bring to life in your chosen setting. Or, of course, a combination of both: maybe starting by rolling dice then change the things that don't suit the concept you're forming, or only roll when you don't have a clear idea about a particular aspect. However, bear in mind that it can be fun working out how an oddball species survives and thrives - the randomly-designed ones can be the most interesting! (Bipedal naked mammals, who'd have thunk THEM up?)

The first table covers general species biology while the second one deals with humanoid species biology. The idea here is that the first table can generate anything from animals to sentient races, whilst the second is aimed at creating the sort of 'aliens' that you find in science fiction films, the ones that when all is said and done are human beings with makeup and prosthetic effects on.

Then if you are after a strange-looking race (or rolled for something 'deviant' on whichever of the first two tables you used) there are some weird things you can mix and match into the race you are building. This is followed by a set of notes about different sorts of organisms, which may help you expand on the brief description that you have derived so far for your new species. They are quite broad, and contain several inaccuracies - mostly deliberate ones which are covered in the notes, like lumping dinosaurs in with reptiles. A couple of minor quibbles include the statement that a sense of smell is not much use if you're aquatic - try telling a shark that!

The notes also cover habitat and structure (of the body, that is). Then the discussion moves on to the core of the matter: creating new PC races for your game. This is handled by offering 'kits' for several game systems (13th Age, Dungeon World, Fate Core, Legend, Pathfinder and Traveller) which you use to derive the system-specific information that you need for the race you have just invented. As demonstration, each kit is used on the same basic race, a Turtle-Man from Chelonian Press's Turtle Lords RPG (1983). These kits come with explanatory notes showing you how to make the conversion from the core information generated here into the game system of your choice.

And then there's another set of tables, these ones are to enable you to devise the sort of society in which your new species likes to live. Everything from government types to their values and attitudes, as well as strengths and weaknesses, nature, assets... as well as further tables on the civilisation's past and current situation. Not only does this give you a good overview of what a society is like, it also feeds into the 'Societal Conflict System' that is presented next. This isn't so much about actual warfare as about determining the underlying geopolitical situation. Look at the news. In some part of the world, people are actually fighting each other, in others the diplomatic situation is a bit tense and in some places there is more or less a state of peace... but there are always tensions, allies and nations which do not get along and the like. This is about generating this kind of background situation which may or may not actually impact on your plot, but is part and parcel of the setting in which your game is being played.

Naturally character actions may have an influence: they are the stars of the show! This may be direct - perhaps they are soldiers, spies or diplomats - or incidental... who knows, maybe they created an international (interstellar?) incident without even intending to... and the intention is that the GM should use this system in between game sessions to model what is going on in the rest of the world while the party is off doing its thing. It's a neat concept which should add interesting depth to your game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Species & Societies
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Character Webs
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2014 10:03:23

Role-playing works best when you know who your character is. Really know him, know him so well that he could be a friend you've had for years... and one way to get off to a flying start is to have a detailed backstory to compliment the necessary game mechanical information that goes on your character sheet. Some games provide a means to create or generate a 'lifepath' that gives you the bare bones of his history prior to game start, some more enlightened GMs require their players to come up with some background, but here's a generic system to provide you with a wealth of detail to add to the basics of character class/profession (and species if applicable) and other basic details that you know from setting him up ready to play.

Mechanically it's quite simple. Get 4d6 of different colours and a d10, roll this handfull once per page, and note the results. Naturally, you may use the rolls as guidance and inspiration rather than taking the results 'as is', but the sheer randomicity can be a spur to your creativity as you take the results and build them into your background.

The areas covered include family structure (are you an only child, etc.), social background, educational background, work history (which may be rolled multiple times for older characters), and personal relationships- if he's married, and how many of the other PCs he already knows (and the nature of their relationships). You'll need to work with the other players to work out the precise details of how they know each other. These tables are followed by a worked example of the system in operation.

Next is a discussion of the concept of a 'character web'. It's a neat way to work out relationships and group dynamics with anyone - PC or NPC alike - with whom your character comes into contact.

Finally there's a neat option for GM use - although the wise GM will be observing and plotting throughout the process, of course! Here it is suggested that the GM make a secret roll for each character in the party. This determines whether that character knows a secret, and the nature of that secret - many of which suggest hidden twists to the relationships that they have with each other. Sit back and watch the paranoia build as you hand out notes to everyone (even if the note contains no secrets whatsoever)!

This is an elegant way to build group dynamics from the outset - a great improvement on the traditional bunch of complete strangers meeting in an inn and deciding to go off risking life and limb in pursuit of loot...er, adventure. The system will work equally well in games of genres other than fantasy too. Well worth a try...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Character Webs
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Creator Reply:
Megan, thanks for the kind words! It\'s always great to read a review from a satisfied reader. Hope that you will check out our next release, Species and Societies, when it comes out.
Races of Karexus, Volume I
by Daniel P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2014 22:20:28

I has some good ideas, but:

  • lacks organization/diagramming. You don't know when it's a descriptor or focus, just by reading everthing or the index.
  • The artwork isn't good. I has inspirations, i can see that, but need to work a lotmore on it.
  • Karexus is a nice place, but doesn't add much to the setting.
  • The new races could be interesting, but lacks charisma. Wierdness without charisma isn't much.
  • The cover looks great!

I'll kepp suporting the author because i believe in his work, but i really think that he should submit his work to other players to review, comment and help him.

Good luck on the next publications, i'll follow you. =)



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Races of Karexus, Volume I
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Creator Reply:
Daniel, I appreciate your review of my book. I agree with you about the layout issues; I\'m learning as I go. I would like to defend my artists\' work. They submitted pieces exactly to my specifications, which were that the pictures look like something from the diary of a 19th century naturalist. These are \"in-character\" pieces. That is why the Mite High Queen the Dryad Village are drawn as they are. The character only had access to bark and charcoal at the time he drew them. The artists are very capable, skilled folks who delivered exactly what I wanted early and professionally. I want to hear every honest review; they help improve on the delivered product. Thank you, Daniel.
Displaying 16 to 24 (of 24 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DriveThruRPG